So you wanted to tell those stories?
Well I thought it’s strange that nobody ever mentions that there was a time when it was completely normal for young children to be protesting in the street. But actually, it’s because I’m obsessed with planning -- I’m fascinated by how people plan things and make them happen. That my grandmother believed she could change the world is amazing to someone like me who at times can’t get it together to clean my bathroom or do my laundry.
So how do Madonna and Britney figure in this?
I was reading an interview with Britney, and she was saying that Madonna was teaching her to read Kabbalah but told her not to try and read the Hebrew, but to just rub her hands over the pages. Apparently the text itself is supposed to be holy and touching it is a spiritual experience. When I started researching it further, for some reason my grandmother kept popping into my head. Kabbalah and Communism are both systems that people have created to re-organize the world in an attempt to make it perfect. I wanted to show the world between the Madonnas and the Britneys -- the people who can get things done and those that can’t. Madonna’s organized and productive and Britney’s a total mess. They serve to illustrate that dichotomy.
Well it certainly isn’t a subject for a typical musical. Was it difficult to integrate your music into The Material World?
The show didn’t start out as a musical. I was humming to myself and wondered, “What would happen if these songs were in the play?” As I adapted the songs to the needs of the different characters, they began to sound less and less like my music. There’s not any one particular style that runs through the show. It’s very eclectic and goes from one musical idea to another -- pop, dance, acoustic.
It sounds like there’s something in this show for everyone.
There is! It’s silly, poignant, smart, funny, and philosophical. It’s a lot of theater.
The Material World by Dan Fishback
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Performed by Micah Bucey, Cole Escola, Erin Markey, Eleanor Reissa, and Audrey Lynn Weston
Thursday, July 22nd at 7PM
161A Chrystie Street New York, NY 10002
Tel: 212 219-0736
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
-- EDDIE SARFATY and COURT STROUD
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